Anti Flag, Stray From The Path, The White Noise & Sharptooth
The Magic Stick – Detroit, MI – 1.16.2018
Photographer: Robert Sherman
An evening featuring two generations of outspoken, activism fueled, and aggressive music came together to kick off the Silence = Violence Tour in Detroit on Tuesday. Punk rock heroes Anti-Flag joined forces with hardcore punk Stray From The Path to not only bring people together for fast-paced, ass-kicking music; but also to spread their perspective messages for a better world that we live in.
It’s no secret that both Anti-Flag and Stray From The Path are not scared to give their unabashed opinion on the current state of our country, or the world, on a larger scale. This may seem like a sketchy way to go about performing, especially in the more southern states, but no one even batted an eye in Detroit. Respective messages from both bands were met with applause from the crowd whenever a point was being made.
That being said, the political and social undertones of this show did not take away from the performances themselves. Anti-Flag has made a name for themselves by creating an atmosphere in their live show that allows a new experience that cannot be found on their albums; their songs are meant to be played live, and it shows.
Stray From The Path take a slightly different approach, allowing their version of hardcore to speak for itself, both on record and live. Every riff and breakdown is played with the intensity found on their albums, while lead vocalist Drew York used his patented high energy to entice the Detroit crowd.
The night started out incredibly with female-fronted Baltimore feminist hardcore band Sharptooth. Lauren Kashan stopped between every song to give her perspective on why they wrote the songs they’re playing. For context, the first single off of their debut album Clever Girl is titled “Fuck You Donald Trump.” So you can assume for yourself where those messages were heading, and the crowd who got to the venue early were eating it up.
The White Noise rounded out the evening’s support slot in impressive fashion. The post-hardcore band just put out there debut album on Fearless Records, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell that this is a fairly new band by their passionate and entertaining performance.
Lead vocalist Shawn Walker took advantage of both the venue and the crowd, finding a way to climb up on top of a monitor speaker to almost touch the ceiling, all while performing. The White Noise finished their set with Walker on the shoulders of an audience member, aptly setting the stage for Stray From The Path.
A set list that was full of fan-favorites and a majority of songs from their new record Only Death Is Real, Stray From The Path wasted no time getting down to business, starting with “The Opening Move,” and moving perfectly through a banger of a performance.
As per a typical SFTP show, the songs “D.I.E.P.I.G.,” “Goodnight Alt-Right,” and “Let’s Make A Deal” sent the crowd into a frenzied disarray and set the pace and energy level for the rest of the night.
Anti-Flag came out to applause and immediately went into “When The Wall Falls,” followed by an absolute classic in “Die for the Government,” which found me trying to take photos while being crushed against the stage. It was incredible.
The Pennsylvania punk-rock quartet shredded through a set list of songs spanning through 20 years of their career, but there was a difference from this show to other Anti-Flag shows that I’ve been too. This show seemed to be more about letting the music speak for itself, rather than using song breaks to speak out about things of which the band supports, of which they typically do.
All-in-all, it was a great concert to start 2018 out with, and if the Silence = Violence Tour comes through your town, make sure you get out to the show!